Friday, August 19, 2011

Conquering Mount Kitanglad (Part 1): Overnight in Sitio Intavas


I have a confession to make: Though I live in Bukidnon, a province surrounded by mountain ranges, I have never experienced a real mountain climb all my life. The closest I've ever been to was when we went trail hiking in the Provincial Tree Park. Still it ain't high and challenging enough to qualify for a real climb.

 The Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park (photo taken during the Intavas-Kibento Eco-Trail Run)

Mount Kitanglad, the country's fourth highest peak, is located within my home province. On clear weather days, it is very visible from the Provincial Capitol Grounds where I would regularly pass by when going home from work. Whenever I travel to Cagayan de Oro City, it can be clearly seen from the national highway, towering above the clouds and the vast greenery below. I often find it ironic that while I have been to some far and away places in the Philippines, I have never ever climbed this natural park and protected area that is just within home. Every time I caught a clear glimpse of its peak, I often tell myself that someday I will conquer you.

The right time finally came when my friend James texted and asked me if I would be interested in joining his brother's group who will be climbing Mount Kitanglad. He said that their group is comprised of less than ten persons and there are still available slots for us if we would want to join. Though I still lacked the necessary outdoor gears, it is an opportunity that I could not turn down. So, without hesitation, I gave my confirmation that I would join their group.

And so this is the story of my first mountain climb....

Day 1 (Friday, August 12, 2011)
Our group met up in Plaza Rizal, Malaybalay City. There were seven of us, four have already climbed Mount Kitanglad at least once while three are first time climbers (Me, James and his younger bro Fly). We left at around 5:30 PM on board a hired multicab which took us straight to Sitio Intavas, La Fortuna, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. Intavas, the major jump-off point to Mt. Kitanglad, is where we will be staying overnight as we planned to start our hike in the early morning of Saturday.

 Climbers need to obtain permit from DENR's Protected Area Management Board in Malaybalay City. Fee is 50 pesos per person and only up to 15 persons are allowed in a group.

It was already 7:00 PM when we arrived in Sitio Intavas. It was dark and raining hard. Mr. Walter Galasanay, a former Barangay Kagawad and the present President of the porters' association guided us to the building specifically built for climbers who will be staying overnight in the sitio.    

 The building where we stayed overnight and the double deck beds where we slept

The building has two rooms with double deck beds, a kitchen and a bathroom. Overnight fee is only 50 pesos per person. The beds have no foam, pillows and blanket so it was a good thing that we have our own sleeping bags.

Preparing our dinner

After a hearty dinner of rice and nilagang baboy, we had some shots of Tanduay Rhum. Though the rain already stopped, the air is icy cold. Half an hour past 8 PM and Sitio Intavas is already quiet and still. The rhum's spirit somehow warmed our bodies and helped us drift to sleep. A much needed rest for the long climb ahead.....(To be continued)

11 comments :

  1. Haha special mention gyud ang Tanduay :)

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  2. @mindanaoan: very important kasi malamig.hehehe.

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  3. freecalls: thanks! i will be posting it soon...

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  4. Hi Earl!

    I often hear about Mt. Kitanglad when I was still staying in CDO with my grandparents. How I wish I could climb it one day too. Maybe next time I go to CDO I'll contact you. Then perhaps we can also do the zipline and white water rafting. What do you think?;)

    Jen (http://www.sexynomad.com)

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  5. wow! ang galing! congrats on your 1st climb... tuloy tuloy na yan.. more! more! more!

    Can't wait for the continuation... :)

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  6. @jan adams-juan: sure, sure!exciting yan! if you want, you may also explore the great outdoors of Bukidnon. I have some friends here who offer adventure packages at very affordable rates.

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  7. @pinoy adventurista: thanks! sana nga tuloy tuloy na 'to. mt. dulang-dulang, the country's second highest peak is also in Bukidnon and I hope one day I can also conquer it.

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  8. I'm also from Bukidnon but unfortunately I haven't climbed Mt. Kitanglad yet, hehe. The mountain range is even visible from our house in Casisang. The closest thing to a mountain climb that I have done was a day hike in the hills near Tagol-oan. Hopefully I would also be able to finally conquer Mt. Kitanglad too! :D

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  9. Hello, how can we contact the lodging house?

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  10. Hello, how can we contact the lodging house?

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